Price Check! Amazon App Takes Aim at Brick-and-Mortars

Posted by: Rachael King on December 6, 2011

By Danielle Kucera

Amazon.com Inc. wants shoppers to do a price check the next time they’re at the store.

The world’s largest online retailer is offering a 5 percent discount to entice users to try its new mobile app that compares their prices with brick-and-mortar retailers.

How does it work? The app, called Price Check, allows shoppers to look up Amazon’s prices by scanning physical products at a store using their phones. Customers will get the discount, as much as $5 off, on three qualifying products on Dec. 10, the Seattle-based company said today in a statement.

Amazon is joining the ranks of companies such as EBay Inc., which lets users search prices and compare results with its RedLaser barcode scanning mobile app. Internet sellers are aiming to spur more online purchases this holiday season among the more than 95 percent of U.S. consumers who still shop in stores.

“The ability to check prices on your mobile phone when you’re in a physical retail store is changing the way people shop,” said Sam Hall, director of Amazon Mobile. “Price
transparency means that you can save money.”

In addition to scanning a bar code, users search for a product by taking a photo, saying its name or typing it into the application’s search engine. Customers who download the app and enable the location feature will see an additional 5 percent discount of up to $5 on Amazon’s products, including electronics, toys, music, sporting goods and DVDs, the company said.

The app is available for iPhone and Android and is free on the Amazon Appstore, Android Market and App Store for iPhone.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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